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Dielectric Anisotropy Implications for Transmission Line Impedance and Via Modeling

Headshot of Bert Simonovich

Bert Simonovich

Signal/Power Integrity Practitioner
Lamsim Enterprises Inc.

Dielectric anisotropy implications by Bert Simonovich

Accurate modeling of transmission lines and vias in PCB design hinges on obtaining reliable dielectric material properties. Among these properties, the dielectric constant (Dk) stands out as a critical factor. Utilizing incorrect Dk values can introduce errors in impedance calculations, posing potential risks to PCB yield and performance. Complicating matters further is the anisotropic nature of fiberglass reinforced laminates commonly used in PCB construction. This anisotropy results in variations in the effective Dk depending on the direction of signal propagation relative to the X, Y, or Z axis. This webinar offers an in-depth exploration of dielectric anisotropy, its implications for transmission line and via modeling, and the possible performance ramifications of incorporating erroneous values into the model.

Attendees will gain insights into various aspects, including:

  • Common challenges encountered in TDR impedance testing.
  • Overview of laminate construction and essential PCB material properties.
  • Understanding the concept of anisotropy and its significance in PCB design.
  • Examination of popular Dk/Df test methods for dielectric characterization.
  • Illustrative examples showcasing the implications of anisotropy on transmission line and via impedance.

By attending this webinar, participants will acquire valuable knowledge essential for navigating the complexities of dielectric anisotropy and optimizing transmission line and via modeling for enhanced PCB performance and reliability.


What you will learn:

  • TDR impedance test issues
  • Laminate construction & PCB material properties overview
  • Anisotropy explained
  • Popular Dk/Df test methods
  • Transmission line and via impedance implications examples due to anisotropy


Meet the presenter

Lambert (Bert) Simonovich graduated from Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology as an Electronic Engineering Technologist. During his 32-year tenure at Bell Northern Research/Nortel in Ottawa Canada, he helped pioneer several advanced technologies into products. He has held a variety of engineering, research and development positions, eventually specializing in high-speed signal integrity and backplane design. In 2009, he founded Lamsim Enterprises Inc., and continues to provide innovative signal integrity and backplane solutions as a consultant. He has authored several publications and holds two US patents. In addition to being a senior member of IEEE, he currently serves as a member of DesignCon’s Technical Program Committee and Signal Integrity Journal’s Editorial Advisory Board. His current research interests include high-speed signal integrity, modeling and characterization of high-speed serial link architectures. His most notable modeling achievement is the invention of the Simonovich “Cannonball” conductor roughness model, formerly known as Cannonball-Huray model, used in several electronic design automation (EDA) software tools.

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Screenshot from Dielectric Anisotropy Implications for Transmission Line Impedance and Via Modeling

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